Community pushes to save Maxdale Bridge from vandalism
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A community is planning to start a petition and gain help from Rep. Brad Buckley to relocate the historic Maxdale Bridge to a safer location.
John Kuczek, president of the Maxdale Cemetery Association, and Ryan Kirkpatrick have several fond memories of the bridge. However, the 108-year-old bridge that crosses the Lampasas River has become a hollow shell of itself, with dozens of problems since a new bridge was built in the 1990s.
“It’s gotten very obscene,” said Kuczek. “Once it became a historical landmark, within months the marker was stolen. Graffiti started picking up, parties would happen out here, there’d be drug deals. It’s unfortunately become an unsafe place and the bridge is also starting to deteriorate.”
“There’s been times on Halloween that the sheriff’s department has had to come out here at night to monitor the area just to make sure nothing’s going on,” said Kirkpatrick. “This is a place that a lot of families like to come and it’s just not safe anymore.”
An unsafe area that’s also led to vandalism at the Maxdale Cemetery across the street, with tombstones damages and even stolen.
To help preserve the cemetery and the bridge, they plan to start a petition.
“We know a ranch that’s state-owned property and there’s a program the state offers to preserve and relocate bridges,” said Kuczek. “What we’d like to propose is to work with the state and relocate the bridge so that it’s still in the community, still useful, protected from the elements and graffiti, and lasts for many more generations.”
While nothing is set in stone, Kuczek is hopeful something can be done soon before there’s nothing left to preserve.
“There’s things you don’t want your mother, your grandmother or your children to see,” said Kuczek. “It’s embarrassing and it’s really disheartening that people will just make something that could be a really wonderful thing into something that’s just not that great.”
Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.